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Introducing the 55th DAC General Chair

A top-level view of this year's conference topics.

My first time attending DAC was in 1991, and I am so excited to be serving as the General Chair for the 55th annual conference this June. Coming from academia and meeting new people in the industry sector who have been involved with DAC for years, I thought this to be good opportunity to introduce myself to the entire community.

I got my start in engineering as an undergraduate student. Both of my parents were engineers and encouraged me to pursue engineering as well. I studied electrical engineering and came to like it very much. Before making the jump into academia, I worked at the General Motors Research Labs for four years right after receiving my Ph.D. At that time, I was exposed to the emerging area of hardware-software co-design and really enjoyed it. Over time I began to realize that many factors in industry could constrain the choices of research projects that one can work on. When an opportunity came up, I decided to make the switch to academia. Currently, I am a computer engineering professor at the University of Notre Dame and love being able to work with students who are as interested in this field as much as I am. There is a drive for learning in these students, and I see the same passion when I attend DAC.

Now onto DAC 2018 and the task of being General Chair. We are a part of an industry that is changing and evolving, and DAC is a major part of the industry ecosystem and a large task for one person to manage, as I have learned. Thankfully, I have been able to head a committee of people who are as passionate as I am. I’m proud to be working with such a talented and diverse group of volunteers from academia and industry that span many sectors including electronic design automation (EDA), design, embedded systems, intellectual property (IP) and semiconductors. You may be hearing from some of these folks over the next 10 months as we plan the overall program, so please take a look and welcome the 2018 Executive Committee (EC).

The EC has a team building ritual during the first onsite planning meeting that is held each September. This year’s event was hosted by Cozy Meals in San Francisco. It was a wonderful night of getting to know each other by cooking together and sharing our culinary experiences. As I hoped we would, this group enjoyed the evening and shared many stories and laughter.

There are a number of things that I really like about DAC, but towards the top of that list is the format of the conference. There aren’t many places where research, learning sessions, and exhibitions co-exist. DAC’s wide range allows me to hear cutting-edge research results on a diverse set of topics while being able to interact with friends and colleagues from all over the world.

And speaking of topics, I’m very excited to have worked with the EC in expanding DAC’s topic areas for 2018. DAC has a perception in the industry as an EDA software and chip design conference, when in reality over the years DAC has grown its focus from chips to systems. This year’s topics, which will be incorporated in all aspects of the conference, will focus on:


• Traditional EDA

• Design

• Automotive software

• Embedded systems and software

• Machine learning/AI

• IP

• Security/privacy


I encourage everyone to look closer at DAC’s call for contributions to understand how the conference has evolved over the past 55 years and see where you can be part of this expanding and educational event. The call for contributions is now open and we are looking forward to receiving submissions for regular research papers, special sessions, panels, tutorials and workshops. The deadline is November 21. Along with the research focused submissions, the Designer and IP Track submissions are open with a submission deadline of February 3, 2018.
As you can see, each year there are more opportunities to learn and keep up with the industry as it changes, this is another part of DAC that is so special. With the help of the EC, exhibitors, and attendees, this year has the potential to be the best DAC yet.

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Sharon Hu
Hu is a professor in the department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana. Her research interests include low-power system design, circuit and architecture design with emerging technologies, embedded and cyber-physical systems, and hardware/software co-design. She has published over 300 papers and holds 6 U.S. patents. She received the NSF Career Award, the Best Paper Award from the Design Automation Conference (DAC) in 2001 and from the IEEE Symposium on Nanoscale Architectures in 2009. One of her papers was selected as The Most Influential Papers of 10 Years by Design, Automation, and Test in Europe Conference (DATE), 2007. She was the Program Chair of DAC in 2016 and TPC Co-Chair of DAC 2014 and 2015. She also served as Associate Editor for several IEEE and ACM journals and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Published originally:
Semiconductor Engineering (Nov. 3, 2017)